This morning I felt that my grasp of reality was slipping away. I had to do something.
I identified a major source of my disorientation: Facebook.
When you spend hours scrolling through your feed and reading comment threads, your thought process starts to work that way – unfocused, trivialized, random, contentious, fact-free.
That’s not the brain I want to have.
Looking for substance in Facebook is like dumpster diving – you might find some scraps to eat, but they won’t be nutritious and they might be rotten.
I changed my profile photo to a solid black, and I changed my page cover photo to solid black. I posted one last time to let people know that I was going away. I sent private messages to the people with whom I communicate primarily through Facebook and asked them to use my email instead.
I took a long walk, and spoke to people along the way. When I got home, I took a long hot bath and read a book. I researched and wrote a blog post. I thought about how to prioritize my time this week. I used aromatherapy to calm myself.
I’m replacing Facebook with real life.
I’m going to start my mornings by looking at great works of art. This painting analysis study has been a huge part of my calibration to visual quality and meaning. Spending 30 minutes a day on it has tremendous payback.
I’m going to redouble my effort to maintain the habits that help me keep a calm mind and a healthy body: meditation, exercise, home-cooked whole food, contact with nature.
I’m going to get my major news from the paid subscription sources that have decades of experience in fact-based journalism. I’m going to seek out and use non-mainstream sources, too, and support the ones that offer factual information that I need. When any of them make errors or pollute their news with rumors or opinion-based accounts, I’m going to let them know.
I’m going to carefully screen all sources of news and information, and help other people do the same.
I’m going to demand that my community do a better job of updating its residents. A Facebook page with random photos, rumors, and tidbits from other residents is not a good place to get information.
Most importantly, I’m going to spend time communicating one-on-one with people I care about. They might not hear from me as often, but when they do, they will have my full attention.
Facebook isn’t the real world.
Today’s penny is a 2007, which is the year I joined Facebook – Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007, at 7:34 a.m. My mother had died and we had moved into our house about six weeks before. I was trying to start a photography business. I’d started the year living in Dubai, went on to live in Timor Leste, and ended up in North Georgia.